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KEEP LOOKING UP!

ALL BECAUSE OF HIM Psalms 118, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” The Psalmist makes two brief statements and asks one question. The writer of Hebrews alludes to this verse in Hebrews 13:6. FIRST – “THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE” To some it may seem pretentious for one to say the Lord was “on his side.” Would it not sound better, appear more humble, to say we are “on the Lord's side?” It probably would, but it would also be less truthful. You and I may be on the Lord's side at times, but as a general rule, we are terribly inconsistent and fickle. Maybe we need to stop and evaluate how we can know whether the Lord is on our side or not. Just making the statement and repeating it like a motto, does not mean the Lord is on your side. Why would He be on our side? When did He take our side? Paul spoke about the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21.) Reconciliation implies a change on the part of one party to another which results in the bringing together of both. How, when, why did such a thing happen? “For if, when we were ENEMIES we were RECONCILED to God BY THE DEATH OF HIS SON...” Romans 5:10. (caps mine) What is our background? We were enemies! When was a way provided that we could become friends (reconciled?) At the cross of Christ! Why would God go to such an extreme? He loved us (Romans 5:8!) If we have accepted that act on God's part to reconcile us, then we can confidently say, “The Lord is on my side.” SECONDLY - “I WILL NOT FEAR.” The world is becoming a more fearful place. America, the so-called “land of the free and the home of the brave” has more prisons, more attorneys, more debt, more wealth, more churches, more crime, etc. Individual liberty is being swallowed up by corporate lobbyists and rioting in the streets. We have camouflaged the sin problem by labeling it racism, pro-choice, civil rights, freedom of speech and other euphemisms that either excites or anesthetizes the public. The faithful Christian certainly must be concerned, yet he must not lose his focus on the One who died for him. Regardless of the circumstances, the Lord is on our side. Most of us have had to pay no price for our Christian beliefs. We may be called upon to suffer for Him, and if so, He will enable us to do so without fear. THIRDLY - “WHAT CAN MAN DO UNTO ME?” Observe that it doesn't say that man can do nothing unto us. Man can indeed affect our lives. Yes, I am fully aware that man can do nothing unless God allows it, and I am also fully aware that God often allows it! From Genesis through Revelation, God's people often suffered at the hand of other people, so what man does, can and often will, have a bearing on our well-being. Are there not dedicated Christians in prisons, bankruptcy courts, hospitals and skid-row missions? Mortal man often forgets that through Jesus Christ he has “immortality.” (1 Timothy 6:16.) For God's children, what occurs in this world may have no bearing on our world to come. Our circumstances are temporary. Our burdens will soon pass. Our heartaches will be healed, our failing bodies will be changed. Thank God that He reconciles us. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18. Because of Him we can: Keep Looking Up! In loving memory of Leland Maples
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PRAYER REQUESTS Pray for our nation, our President, our state and local leaders, and all citizens during this Covid19 virus and the upcoming election. May God protect us all. Many of us have friends and family that we have lost to this virus. We all need to pray for all those left that are not Christians, that they will be saved. Pray for Grace, she is not a Christian. Continue to pray for Don and Margaret, her cancer has returned and she is receiving treatment at Baylor in Dallas. Pray for Eric A., he recently lost his job. Continue to pray for Sammy Arp. Sweet wife, Maureen (Mo) went home to be with the Lord. Continue to pray for Jamie Belknap and her health. Continue to pray for her blood pressure and her A1C numbers. Also pray for finances to complete her move to West Virginia. Continue to pray for Vearl and Sandy, he has leukemia. Pray for members of the Borron/Morgan families. Many of them have a rare kidney disease and/or liver issues. Pray for Tristen Cannefax, the cancer has spread. Pray for 7-year-old Grant Crutcher, his severe diabetes is affecting his heart. Continue to pray for Joy and Jackie, her knee surgery last year did not fix the problem. Pray for Robert Lambert, his PSA numbers are elevated and he is out of a job because of the virus. Continue to pray for Jack and Delores’ family members; Marjetta (dementia) she is much worse, and for Melvadean (cancer) she is some better. Pray for Jennie S. and her entire family in the loss of husband, father and grandfather, Hooks. Pray for Linda S., she has recently been diagnosed with lung, liver and colon cancer. Pray for Craig and Laura, they are staying in because of the virus. Continue to pray for Autumn Christine Williams, Dean and Johnnie’s youngest granddaughter. Pray for healing of her brainstem. Also pray for 15-year-old grandson, Gage; his heart is only working at 25%. It needs to come up to 30% in the next six months, so he won’t have to have surgery. Glenda Wright asked for prayer for her friend Carolyn and herself. Continue to pray for the REC-Room. We will not be allowed to have the REC- Room until the virus restrictions are lifted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Pray for all three half-way houses here in Odessa and all those in jail. They are not allowed visitors or able to go to any meetings. Public vendors are not even allowed to go into those facilities and fill the vending machines. All these restrictions create a lot of unrest. Pray for all those that work in these facilities, they are truly special folks. Pray for our church that we may remain focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, the salvation of the lost and faithfulness of all of us. Pray too for our Sunday School classes. Pray for all our men and women serving in the armed forces. Keep them safe until they come home. Pray for all our first responders, police, firemen and EMT’s. Pray protection for our doctors and nurses and additional hospital staff that are working tirelessly during this ordeal.
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